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Matt was in foster care from age 14 until he aged out of care at age 18. His first placements did not work out but he did reach permanency with the last foster home he lived in. He goes home on holidays and other breaks and considers these parents his mother and father.

Matt was on the Region 1 Youth Advisory Council and the KYAC from 2004 until this January. He was the KYAC Chair in 2008. He has since become an alumnus and is mentoring younger youth in the councils. Matt has been doing consulting work for the National Child Welfare Resource Center for Youth Development for the past several years and has helped other states set up councils. He serves on many state boards and has trained hundreds of child welfare workers in Kansas.

Matt has told his story many times throughout the state of Kansas. At age 14, he wasn't liked by many students in his school. A teacher asked him to talk about his experiences in foster care. This one event changed his life forever. As a result, he joined the Region 1 Youth Advisory council and the Kansas Youth Advisory Council to help other youth and to make a difference in their lives.

Matt will graduate this May from the University of Kansas and will attend law school this fall. He plans to obtain his law degree and would like to become a public speaker.

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